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Seeing news images of President Obama doing “the wave” at a baseball game in Cuba, it would be easy to think that this small communist country is now completely free and open to the gospel of Christ.

But while President Obama was watching baseball, Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso was sitting in a police station. Barroso, a Baptist pastor, blogger and friend of VOM, was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and detained at his home (which also serves as his church) just hours before Air Force One landed in Havana. A few hours after the president left Cuba, Pastor Barroso was set free and returned to his family. He was tired and weak, having fasted throughout his detention, but happy to be home.

Pastor Barroso is a bold pastor and outspoken advocate for religious freedom in his nation, and as such he is seen as a threat to the communist government of Fidel and Raul Castro. The Cuban government decided to make sure there would be no “distractions” during President Obama’s visit, so Barroso and dozens of other dissidents were detained by police in the days leading up to the president’s arrival.
Thanks to Voice of the Martyrs